A 27-year-old woman from San Francisco is dead in a random act of violence in Mexico City.
The U.S. State Department has warned Americans traveling to Mexico about the extreme risk from violence, but the Mexican capital still remains a popular tourist destination. Drug cartels are spinning out of control in the country, and even previously safe areas of Mexico are now being affected.
Tatiana Mirutenko and her husband were in Mexico for their one-year anniversary when she was gunned down outside of a Mexico City restaurant on Saturday.
As part of their anniversary trip, The Mirutenkos and three other couples went to Mexico to try out local Michelin star restaurants. As they left one of the restaurants in Mexico City on Saturday, however, she was shot in the head by a stray bullet meant for another man.
On Saturday, Mirutenko was shot by a stray bullet as they were leaving a restaurant in the upscale neighborhood of Lomas de Chapultepec. Mexican authorities say gunmen on a motorcycle were aiming at a bouncer at a nearby bar when one of their bullets struck Mirutenko in the head.
“She was telling me how wonderful, how safe it was,” said Natalie Mirutenko, Tatiana’s mother.
“A year ago, we were selecting flowers for the wedding. Today we were looking at flowers for the funeral,” said Wasyl Mirutenko, Tatiana’s father.
Last August, the State Department said that violence against American tourists was on the rise, and a travel warning was issued. In this case, it appears Mirutenko was an innocent bystander, and not the target.
Mirutenko’s co-workers in San Francisco’s Mission Bay are grieving too. She worked as a senior investor relations analyst at Nektar Therapeutics where she was described as a “bright” and “passionate rising star” with an “incredibly strong work ethic.” Mirutenko also made her mark at Clemson University where she played Division 1 volleyball.
“She would give 200 percent. As a mother, we always say things, but she inspired me to be better. I’d give my life if she could just come back,” said Natalie Mirutenko.
Lilian Kim with ABC 7 in San Francisco tweeted this.
#SanFrancisco resident Tatiana Mirutenko was celebrating her first wedding anniversary in Mexico City where she was shot and killed by a stray bullet on Saturday, one day before she was supposed to return home. pic.twitter.com/r070z1jiMT
— Lilian Kim (@liliankim7) July 10, 2018
Mirutenko’s body will be returning to the U.S. tomorrow. She’ll be flown to Chicago where she’ll be buried on Saturday.
An official with the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs confirmed the death. In a statement, they wrote: “We can confirm that U.S. Citizen Tatiana Mirutenko was killed in Mexico City on July 7. We extend our sincere condolences to friends and family members of the deceased. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City is providing all appropriate consular services to her family. Out of respect for the family during this difficult time, we have no further comment.”
San Francisco’s Nektar Therapeutics, where Mirutenko worked, released a statement, saying: “Tatiana was a bright and passionate rising star… Many throughout Nektar, and outside the company, valued her positive energy, insight and sheer enthusiasm for life.”
ABC 7 aired this report on the tragedy.
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